People with thalassemia may have mild or severe anemia. Severe anemia can damage organs and lead to death. Because thalassemia is passed from parents to children, it is very hard to prevent. However, if you or your partner knows of family members with thalassemia, you can speak to a genetic counselor to determine what your risk would be of passing thalassemia to your children. Since the body has fewer red blood cells when one has thalassemia, one may have symptoms of a low blood count or anemia making one feels tired or weak. One might also experience dizziness, shortness of breath, a fast heart beat, headache, leg cramps, difficulty concentrating and pale skin.